Portrait in Sepia: A Novel

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Nov 1, 2002 - Fiction - 320 pages
8 Reviews
Isabel Allende's sensuous novel about
the mystery of memory

In nineteenth-century Chile, Aurora del Valle suffers a brutal trauma that erases all recollections of the first five years of her life. Raised by her regal and ambitious grandmother Paulina del Valle, Aurora grows up in a privileged environment, but is tormented by horrible nightmares. When she is forced to recognize her betrayal at the hands of the man she loves, and to cope with the resulting solitude, she explores the mystery of her past.

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Portrait in sepia

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Allende's new novel may center on Aurora de Valle, born in San Francisco's Chinatown and raised in Chile by her domineering grandmother, but it is really a group portrait of three generations of ... Read full review

Portrait in sepia: a novel

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

If you liked The House of the Spirits and Daughter of Fortune, you will no doubt love Allende's new work, which completes the trilogy. Here, young Aurora de Valle strains against her restrictive upbringing. ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Isabel Allende was born in 1942 in Lima, Peru, the daughter of a Chilean diplomat. When her parents separated, young Isabel moved with her mother to Chile, where she spent the rest of her childhood. She married at the age of 19 and had two children, Paula and Nicolas. Her uncle was Salvador Allende, the president of Chile. When he was overthrown in the coup of 1973, she fled Chile, moving to Caracas, Venezuela. While living in Venezuela, Allende began writing her novels, many of them exploring the close family bonds between women. Her first novel, The House of the Spirits, has been translated into 27 languages, and was later made into a film. She then wrote Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, and The Stories of Eva Luna, all set in Latin America. The Infinite Plan was her first novel to take place in the United States. In Paula, Allende wrote her memoirs in connection with her daughter's illness and death. She delved into the erotic connections between food and love in Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses. In addition to writing books, Allende has worked as a TV interviewer, magazine writer, school administrator, and a secretary at a U.N. office in Chile. She received the 1996 Harold Washington Literacy Award. She lives in California. Her title Maya's Notebook made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2013.

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